The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, April 18, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 2nd of July, 2008

Front Page

5 rookie rental plants fail to add power

Five rental power contracts awarded to inexperienced power companies by the Power Cell of the power ministry in January fail to add power to the national grid 46 days behind schedule.

Khoka charged with Tk 10cr illegal wealth

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka in a case filed for amassing wealth worth Tk 9.76 crore illegally and giving false information to the commission.

Dhaka rain-hit

Heavy downpour for most of the day yesterday sent many areas in the city under ankle- to knee-deep water, meaning immense sufferings to the residents, particularly the office-goers and students.

Govt hikes bus fares

The government last night increased bus fares amid a chaos in the capital and across the country as transport operators had been increasing fares feverishly earlier in the day, a day after the former had hiked prices of fuel oil by a huge margin.

Regional fund sought to tackle climate change

Experts from the Saarc countries yesterday emphasised the need for creating a regional climate change fund to establish adaptation research and training centres and share information and experiences to face the common menace of climate change.

Horror in Barisal

Unknown assailants killed a mother and her four daughters by slitting their throats in Khalisha village under Bhashanchar union of Mehendiganj upazila in Barisal on Monday night.

Crime world beckons 7 lakh slum kids

Around seven lakh children living in slums of the six metropolitan cities of the country are susceptible to a life of crime because of lack of any proper mechanisms to protect them.

Govt targets coastal lands for cultivation

The government is going to determine strategies for best use of cultivable fallow land, especially in seven coastal districts and Sylhet region, to increase production following shortage of food and high prices.

UP body system seen as anti-democracy

The union parishad (UP) committee system cannot play a leading role in ensuring transparency and democratic practices in the UPs because of indifference to the system itself, reveals a study of Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD).

Non-payment issue embarrasses Kuwait

Kuwait's Labour Relations Department said it was embarrassed over the non-payment of six months' salary to 765 Bangladeshi workers by their employers.

AL to demand withdrawal of all charges against Hasina

Awami League (AL) at its dialogue with the caretaker government tomorrow will formally place the demand for the withdrawal of all "false" charges brought against party chief Sheikh Hasina and her unconditional and permanent release.

CA to join D-8 summit in KL on July 8

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed will lead Bangladesh delegation to the 6th summit of Developing-8 grouping, popularly known as D-8, scheduled for July 8 in Kuala Lumpur.

42pc raise in power tariff proposed

Chief Adviser's Special Assistant for Power and Energy Dr M Tamim yesterday said there is a proposal pending with Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) on a 42 percent raise in electricity tariffs.

Confusion over Saudi king's 'planned visit’

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud's 'planned visit' to Bangladesh seems to have aroused confusion with no official confirmation available yet.

Heated debate over Hasina's 2 petitions to quash cases

Attorney General barrister Fida M Kamal and former prime minister Sheikh Hasina's counsel barrister Shafique Ahmed yesterday locked in a heated argument before a High Court (HC) bench over the jurisdiction of the bench for hearing two petitions filed by Hasina to quash the barge mounted power plant case and the Niko corruption case against her.

Hasina's trial adjourned again until July 10

A special court yesterday adjourned again the trial proceedings of the barge-mounted power plant case filed against former premier and Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina and six others till July 10.

Khaleda's release process not being delayed

The government is not deliberately delaying the process of releasing detained former prime minister Khaleda Zia, Commerce Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman said yesterday.

Angry job seekers beat up recruiting agency staffers

Angry job seekers, most of who had to return to Bangladesh after being imprisoned in Malaysia, beat up five staffers of the recruiting agency through which they went abroad and ransacked the agency office at Malibagh in the capital yesterday.

5.74 lakh MT rice procured till June 9

The government has procured 5.74 lakh metric tons (MT) of rice and 43,000 MT paddy till June 9 in its drive to scale up the country's food stock.

VoIP equipment worth Tk 20cr seized in city

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-1) personnel recovered Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) equipment worth about Tk 20 crore at Gulshan and Mohammadpur in the city during separate drives Monday night.

Release Nizami, Khaleda

Jamaat-e-Islami yesterday submitted a five-point demand along with the signatures of over 1.49 crore people before the Chief Adviser's Office.

Acceptability of election to depend on people

US Ambassador James Moriarty yesterday said despite election monitoring by the international community, acceptability of the next polls would depend largely on the people of Bangladesh.

DCs asked to be ready to face possible floods

The government has directed the deputy commissioners (DCs) to take advance preparations to tackle any possible flood in the country.

1,687 women fall victim to violence in 6 months

A total of 1,687 women fell victim to violence including fatwa (religious edict) in the country from January to June this year, according to a Bangladesh Mahila Parishad report based on news published in 14 daily newspapers.

Nato, US troops kill 33 Taliban insurgents

Nato and US troops killed dozens of militants on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, officials said yesterday, after the foreign forces suffered their deadliest month since the fall of the Taliban.

Israel bars UN rights team from Palestine

Israel has barred a UN human rights committee from visiting the Palestinian areas on a fact-finding mission, the leader of the group said yesterday.

Editorial

The big rise in fuel prices

THE government decision to raise the prices of petroleum products was inevitable. The record level of crude price in the international market and the consequent need for increasing subsidy to the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) to procure it called for upward internal price adjustments to keep the deficit under control. But the margin of price increase by 33.84 percent to 50 percent from previous levels on wide ranging petroleum products is a big quantum leap at one go is what draws instant flak. Is the economy with near-double digit inflation ready to absorb the consequent shocks?

Climate change in South Asia

GOOD news there is none. The bad news is that in the times ahead South Asia will be up against severe risks to its environment. That obviously raises the very crucial question of how Bangladesh will fare. The answer is simple: not well at all, if the projections being made today about the environmental dangers to it are to be taken seriously. And, of course, taken seriously they must be owing to the overall nature of the risks posed to global ecology. Which brings up the matter of the on-going SAARC experts level meeting in Dhaka, to be followed by a conference of SAARC environment ministers beginning tomorrow.

Of SSC results, of the generational torch . . .

A thrillingly large number of young men and women, as we observed last week, have crossed the school leaving bar this year. The number of those who have emerged successful from their Secondary School Certificate examinations, we have known, is staggering. No fewer than 70.41 per cent of those appearing at the examinations have qualified for further studies at the college level. A significantly high number among them have scored what we now know as GPA-5. By all means that is a remarkable achievement and we are all happy because the students and their guardians and their teachers are happy.

State of governance in Bangladesh in 2007

WHAT is good governance? One golden thread that runs through all the definitions is that good governance ensures the effective delivery of public services, the transparent use of public funds, and the implementation of rule of law. It also emphasises the necessity and relevance of public morality in the conduct of the government for the welfare of the public.

Japan's road to G8

JAPAN is all set for the big event for which the country has been preparing for more than a year. The annual summit of the world's most powerful nations, commonly known as G8, is to start on Monday, July 7, at Lake Toya in Hokkaido. The three-day summit will mark the culmination of a relatively longer process that took-off in early April, with the development ministers from the eight countries meeting in Tokyo to formulate a joint guideline on development issues to be presented at the summit for the approval of the leaders.

Sports

Pathan returns

All-rounder Irfan Pathan returns to India's squad for their crunch match on Wednesday against archrivals Pakistan here, with the hosts in a must-win situation in the Super League Asia Cup encounter.

Records matter little

The beauty about Sanath Jayasuriya, Virender Sehwag and Adam Gilchrist is that there are certain records they are the most likely to set -- and they don't give a damn about it. For them the journey is the thing. They can't bear to take the joy out of their batting just because they are close to a record -- in that sense, they derive a Keith Miller-like sense of pleasure from their cricket.

Venus ends Tamarine run

Four-time champion Venus Williams cruised closer to a seventh Wimbledon final on Tuesday as she set up a last four showdown with brittle Russian Elena Dementieva.

'ICC not to blame'

Cricket's governing body on Tuesday dismissed a suggestion from an Indian official that it was responsible for their country's tough schedule during the Asia Cup.

Shakil, Alamgir made BCB members

National Sports Council (NSC) named Shakil Kasem and Golam Mohammad Alamgir as new ad-hoc committee members of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).

Dhaka-Ansar handball final

Dhaka and Ansar & VDP moved into the final of the Exim Bank 19th National Women's Handball competition by winning their respective semifinals at the Mirpur Shaheed Suhrawardi Indoor Stadium yesterday.

BHF names jr hockey team

Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) announced a 16-member youth team to take part in the sixth Junior Asia Cup Hockey to be held from July 11 in Hyderabad, India.

Zim issue divides opinion

World cricket chiefs were locked in delicate negotiations Tuesday to break the divide over strife-torn Zimbabwe and conjure a face-saving compromise, sources told AFP.

Malik, Afridi unlikely?

The embattled Pakistani team may have to take the field in Wednesday's do-or-die Asia Cup match against India without captain Shoaib Malik, who has been laid low by dehydration.

Kirsten agrees with Dhoni

India's coach Gary Kirsten has backed Mahendra Singh Dhoni's views on the Asia Cup's hectic schedule.

Spain welcome heroes

Hundreds of thou-sands of ecstatic flag-waving fans cheered Spain's Euro 2008 players as they were feted in a parade in an open-top bus through Madrid to celebrate the country's first major football trophy in 44 years.

Deco joins Chelsea

Portugal midf-ielder Deco has signed for Chel-sea, the English Premiership club said on Monday, for eight million pounds (10.1 million euros).

Lampard's future unclear

Frank Lampard's continued presence at Chelsea this season will be one of the top tasks of Luiz Felipe Scolari when the new Stamford Bridge boss officially starts work at the club on Tuesday.

Nadal puts champagne on ice

Rafael Nadal resisted the temptation to crack open the champagne when Spain clinched the Euro 2008 championship on Sunday, but he'll raise a glass if he wins the Wimbledon title.

1,000 arrested for betting

More than 1,000 people have been arrested in Thailand for gambling on Euro 2008 football matches, with nearly one million baht (30,000 dollars) in cash seized, police said Tuesday.

Rafa proud of Torres

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez on Monday spoke of his pride in Fernando Torres' Euro 2008 triumph - Spain's first major honour in 44 years.

Terim to stay on till 2012

The Turkish Football Federation said Tuesday they have struck a deal with Fatih Terim to stay on as coach of Euro 2008 semifinalists Turkey until 2012.

Uruguay set Japan date

Uruguay will meet Japan in an international friendly in August, the country's football federation said on Monday, as a warm-up for their South American World Cup qualifiers the following month.

Federer faces Ancic test

Roger Federer comes face-to-face with Mario Ancic at Wimbledon again on Wednesday with the five-time champion unable to escape the memory of his 2002 defeat to the Croatian at the All England Club.

Pace can wait

This may be Morne Morkel's first Test tour of England, but he is no stranger to English conditions. He played for Kent during last season's Twenty20 Cup, and was back in England as recently as May, when he signed for Yorkshire as a short-term replacement for Rana Naved.

Aussies win Champs Trophy

Australia defeated Spain 4-1 to win a record-equalling ninth men's field hockey Champions Trophy title here on Sunday.

McCullum flays Ireland

All a depleted Irish team could offer was blood, toil, sweat and tears. On this occasion their players were just not in the same class as the New Zealand batsmen, who did much as they pleased with the weakened attack. The star performers were Brendon McCullum with 166, his maiden one-day century, and James Marshall on 161, also his first one-day ton. The opening partnership of 266 was only 20 runs short of the world record, achieved by Upul Tharanga and Sanath Jayasuriya of Sri Lanka against England, two years ago to the exact day.

Ana remains number one

Ana Ivanovic will retain her world number one ranking despite the record carnage suffered by the leading Wimbledon women's seeds.

PCB asked to explain ban

A court in Pakistan has summoned the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to explain a ban on paceman Shoaib Akthar, a lawyer said on Tuesday.

Tickets sell like hot cakes

Organisers of next year's ICC World Twenty20 in England said on Monday there was an unprecedented demand for tickets.

Manekshaw takes out Chandra

Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw loved sports and particularly cricket. He came over to meet the Indian team which I was part of during the Delhi Test against the 1978-79 West Indians.

PCB wants Oval result reversal

Pakistan is confident cricket's world body will change the result of the infamous 2006 Oval Test that was awarded to England over ball-tampering allegations, a senior official told AFP on Tuesday.

Open squash

Bhola Lal, Swapan Parvez and Ram Jagdish won their respective matches in the Premier Division matches in straight sets in the 1st Delta Life Open Squash Tournament at the Dhaka Club Squash Court yesterday.

Business

Margin requirements of brokers now Tk5cr

Brokers' margin requirements with bourses were increased to Tk 5 crore from Tk 1 crore yesterday, a move market operators believe will boost stock trading that has been experiencing bearish trend for the last one month.

40pc hike in fuel prices creates four lakh new poor people

A 40 percent hike in the prices of diesel and kerosene will lead to more inflation and creation of four lakh new poor people in the country, according to a research paper.

No restriction on Bangladesh shrimp export

US authorities made an assurance that they will not impose any restriction on Bangladeshi shrimp export, a high-profile Bangladeshi team that recently visited the US, claimed yesterday.

Chinese oil major blames supply concerns for price hike

Supply and demand concerns are driving record oil prices as appetite for crude in developing nations is expected to soar over the coming years, the president of Chinese oil major CNOOC said Tuesday.

Air travel tech provider to focus on country's e-ticketing market

Amadeus, a global travel technology provider, has plans to lay more emphasis on Bangladesh's e-ticketing market by introducing its latest technology.

BTCL signs deal with govt to get all BTTB assets

The newly constituted Bangladesh Telecomm-unications Company Ltd (BTCL) has signed vendors' agreement with the government to take over the state-run telecommunications service.

Bangladesh to get £7m from UK for tax reform

The United Kingdom has approved 7 million pound sterling equivalent to Tk 100 crore to the government of Bangladesh for Tax Administration Capacity and Taxpayer Services (TACTS).

Asian customers agree huge iron ore price rise

Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto announced Tuesday that it had reached agreement with all its customers in Asia for iron ore price increases of up to 97 percent.

Phuchka-chatpati: From roadside to posh shops

It was half-past 10 at night. The 28-year old brick and sand retailer Nur Kalam's eyes were watering from the hotness of chilli. Yet he continued savouring the whole bowl of chatpati he bought at Tk 10.

Appetite for Arctic oil rises in line with crude prices

The appetite for Arctic oil has surged in line with rocketing crude prices but environmental concerns and a diplomatic stalemate stand in the way of exploration, experts say.

Biz Letters

Potentials of crop biotechnology

Asian stocks close mostly down

Asian stocks closed mostly down Tuesday, with China and India tumbling, as soaring oil prices and a huge rise in iron ore costs stoked fears about the economic damage from surging inflation.

Euro on firm footing against dollar

The euro firmed against the dollar on Tuesday as the foreign exchange market awaited fresh economic data ahead of a likely eurozone interest rate hike later this week.

Thai inflation hits 10-yr high

Thailand's inflation rate surged to a 10-year high of 8.9 percent in June, driven by sharply rising oil prices, the commerce ministry said Tuesday.

Rahimafrooz launches CNG refueling station chain

Rahimafrooz CNG has launched a CNG refueling station chain, Quikfill, in the country.

Japan, India ink currency swap agreement

India and Japan Monday concluded a bilateral arrangement for swapping of local currencies against the US dollar for up to USD 3 billion.

ROK inflation near 10-yr high

South Korea's annual inflation rate was 5.5 percent in June, close to a 10-year high due to soaring prices of oil and other commodities, official figures showed Tuesday.

WTO deal would ease food prices: Paulson

US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson pressed Tuesday for a breakthrough in the Doha round of WTO trade talks, arguing that an agreement would help contain surging food prices.

Pakistan scales down fuel, food subsidies

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Tuesday that his government had scaled down subsidies on food and fuel in a bid to reduce the country's budget deficit.

Sri Lanka prices soar at record 28.2pc

Sri Lanka's annual inflation hit a record 28.2 percent in June for the first time since its new price index was launched six years ago, official figures showed Monday.

Mazda sees hydrogen cars available by 2020

Hydrogen-powered cars will not be commercially available on a large scale before 2020, a senior official from Japanese auto maker Mazda said Monday in Spain at an international oil conference.

General Motors's stock skids to 1950s level

General Motors's stock price fell on Monday to levels last seen in 1954, as investors fretted over its falling sales and as some analysts wondered if the iconic US automaker's glory days are in the rearview mirror.

Metropolitan

Frame regional policy to protect migrant workers' rights

Experts at a consultation yesterday said South Asian countries should frame a regional migration policy to protect the rights of their respective nationals working in various countries of the world, who are often denied of their rights.

Political parties protest fuel price hikeq

Different political parties have protested the increase of fuel price and urged the government to cancel the decision saying it will worsen the miseries of people.

Kosovo issue being mooted

Bangladesh has not yet firmed up its stance on the question of recognising Kosovo's independence despite persistent diplomatic maneuvering by US Ambassador James Moriarty, who met Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday for the second time to pursue the issue of recognition of the new Balkan state.

CMP launches drive against law-breaking CNG auto-rickshaws

The traffic department of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) yesterday launched a drive against the CNG-run auto-rickshaws that did not calibrate their meters according to the new fare structures within the given deadline.

Call to adopt regional policies for pro-poor land reform

Speakers at a press conference yesterday called on the respective governments of the Saarc countries to adopt and implement state and regional policies regarding pro-poor land reform and use of water, forest and natural resources.

'Form nat'l body to ensure rights of women with disabilities'

Although the country has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the government has no specific programme for women with disabilities (WWD) to ensure their rights, speakers at the launching ceremony of a survey report said yesterday.

Food still most urgent priority for many in Sidr-hit areas

World Food Programme (WFP) continues to make progress in serving victims and has dispatched required food to feed over 2.3 million people in the affected areas since cyclone Sidr hit the coastal areas of Bangladesh late last year.

Remove illegal structures in DU, Mirpur zoo areas

The home ministry yesterday asked the authorities concerned to remove the illegal structures erected on the government land in the city's Dhaka University and Mirpur areas.

Eight bag mega prizes

The five-week-long 'Ek Chumukei Pepsi Star' campaign ended yesterday after selecting eight mega prizewinners at a gala event at the Spectra Convention Centre in the city.

Allow non-govt teachers in elections

Teachers of non-government high schools, colleges and madrasas have urged the Election Commission (EC) to withdraw restriction on non-government teachers contesting the upcoming local body polls.

Plan to start academic activities this year

The government is planning to start academic activities of the newly established Rangpur University from the current session with six subjects on its curricula under two faculties.

DU Day celebrated

Dhaka University celebrated 'DU Day' marking its 88th founding anniversary amid festivity and much enthusiasm yesterday.

8 cheated women back home from S Arabia

Eight women migrant workers, who fell victim to fraud, were finally brought back home in the past week by the recruiting agency that sent them to Saudi Arabia with a promise to recruit them as housemaids.

Four killed in road accidents

At least four people were killed and 30 others injured in separate road accidents in the city and in Barisal in last two days.

Tk 15cr Rotary plan for welfare of poor

Rotary International has announced a Tk 15 crore plan for this fiscal.

Bangladesh Islami Oikya Jote to take part in local govt elections

Leaders of Bangladesh Islami Oikya Jote (BIOJ) yesterday decided to participate in the upcoming elections of four city corporations and nine municipalities.

Three held with firearms in city

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members arrested three people, including a fugitive accused in a murder case, with two firearms at Banianagar in the city's Sutrapur area on Monday evening.

'Help solve blood crisis'

Speakers at a seminar yesterday urged the people and the media to come forward to solve the blood crisis so that no one dies due to scarcity of blood.

Mentally ill mother kills her baby

A mentally disordered mother slaughtered her two-month-old daughter at Sayedabad in the city yesterday evening.

Danish help to build capacity of women entrepreneurs

An agreement was signed between Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) and Danish Embassy yesterday to build the capacity of 300 selected women entrepreneurs from 10 different geographical locations in Bangladesh.

Man kills wife in Naogaon

A man killed his wife at Mirzapur village in Sadar upazila on Monday night following a family feud.

US embassy closed tomorrow

US Embassy offices, including The American Centre, Archer K Blood American Centre Library, the student counselling service and the Consular Section will remain closed tomorrow on the occasion of the American Independence day.

National

Erosion turns serious in Pabna, Sirajganj as Jamuna swells

With rise of water level due to monsoon shower, Jamuna River and its tributaries are devouring vast areas of Pabna and Sirajganj districts.

5-storey building 'completed' with rooms on three floors

The front side of the administrative building of Kishoreganj Polytechnic Institute (KPI) at Jafrabad village of Karimganj upazila gives the appearance of a five-storied building but work up to the second floor is practically completed when the construction firm has closed their work.

Khagrachhari dist judge's court starts functioning

Khagrachhari District and Sessions Judge's Court started functioning yesterday.

Four get life for murder in Pabna

A Pabna court yesterday sentenced four people to life-term imprisonment in a murder case.

Charge pressed against BNP leader Shish Mohammad

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) pressed charge against fugitive BNP general secretary of Rajshahi Shish Mohammad yesterday for not submitting wealth statement.

Satkhira BNP leader Rouf sued for occupying workshop

Satkhira district BNP vice-president Abdur Rouf, also chairman of Alipur Union Parishad (UP), and three others were sued yesterday for occupying an engineering workshop here.

Tk 20 lakh cotton gutted in Barisal

Cotton and properties worth about Tk 25 lakh were gutted in a fire at the cotton go-down of Khan Son's Textile Mills at Kowania under Barisal city yesterday.

Robbery committed in Moulvibazar

A robbery was committed at the house of a freedom fighter (FF) at Khsemsahasro village in Rajnagar upazila Monday night.

Tk 45 lakh heroin recovered, one held

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) recovered heroin worth Tk45 lakh and arrested one person at Rail Bazar Padmaghat in Godagari upazila in Rajshahi on Monday.

Letters

Educating street children

I was much heartened by the article on the education of street children by Dr. Niaz Ahmed Khan which appeared in your edition of Thursday, June 26. I must congratulate all concerned for drawing our attention to this matter.

Local govt and national election

We were alarmed to read the news item published in today's (25-06-08) DS that many grassroots level political leaders of major parties including incumbent ward commissioners, who were allegedly involved in criminal activities, are preparing to contest in the August 4 polls to four city corporations. And many of them have already collected application forms for candidacy, although some political parties have yet to announce their acquiescence in the local government polls before the parliamentary one.

ACC

I wholeheartedly congratulate the ACC for nabbing the corrupt SI for accepting Tk 5000/- as bribe from an FIR named accused on the promise of clearing his name from the FIR during the course of investigation, as per the media report dated 17 June, 2008. Such crimes by the police officers during the course of investigation are rampant in our country.

Monsoon road digging

Road digging in monsoon has become a fact of life as reported in a local English daily on 23 June. This is the result of our way of bureaucratic work. It filters down from any decision to the execution process in a very slow manner. The basic reason for this is that our financial year cycle which is scheduled on July to June basis!

Our expatriate workers

Bangladesh, being one of the poorest countries of the world, exports a huge number of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled manpower abroad with a view to earning money in exchange of their hard labour. This trend of exporting manpower to foreign countries, mainly developed ones, has been going on for a long time due to shortage of employment in our country.

No good work!

This caretaker government has not done anything good in the last two years. Begum Khaleda Zia seems to believe that if we go by what she has said.

Corruption

Corruption is a much talked about word these days. Everyone thinks that it is uttered whenever necessary. Especially in places like mosques, temples or may be at school. A teacher talks about it with his students, a saint with his followers, an Imam condemns it while talking to the devotees.

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, a great political leader born in South Africa in 1918, fought against racism, violence, oppression, repression and impoverishment in his country. A Noble laureate for peace in 1993, he became the first black president of South Africa.

Students abroad

I am going to reply Mr. Md. Zahidul Islam Jibon's letter which was published in The Daily Star recently. I am totally upset with his saying “There is hardly anyone who can accomplish higher education in a foreign university because of high educational expenses. So they do odd jobs.'' How could he pass a comment like this? These days, lots of Bangladeshi students are studying in foreign universities, especially in the UK. As an educated person you should respect all types of jobs. There is no difference between an odd job and others jobs. You are doing a job to earn money. That's it. Anyway, I want to give you an example. I came to London in 1995 after finishing my BSc. I had to work hard to earn my university tuition fees. But as a college student I was not able to work so many hours a day. So, only during my vacation I could earn a lot of money. Now I am a student of a good university and I am also proud that I am doing my MSc with my hard-earned money.

"Spelling"

I agree with Mr. S Rasul's opinion expressed in his letter "Spelling" (30/06/08). I believe, it is possible to change the English spellings of our districts' names which would become much closer to original pronunciation, not dictated by the British colonial rulers. We only need to turn to our mighty neighbour India for inspiration!

Moral values

In my opinion, the main cause of our present social disorder and moral degradation is deviation of our intellectuals and rich people from the canons of moral living and philosophy of life. What we say or preach, we do not believe or bear in heart! Actual offenders and hypocrites are in safe and sound position, while innocents are being subjected to suffering!

Biotechnology

Biotechnology is called the science of 21st century. It has a tremendous potential to solve problems of the agriculture sector, and can be a powerful tool to cope with the existing food insecurity. I talked with the Head of the Dept of Biotechnology (BAU)and national coordinator of ISAAA(Intl service for the acquisition of agribiotech) Dr. K M Nasiruddin about different issues on agribiotech. He said that the ever increasing population, limited cultivatable land and increasing demand for alternative energy sources has led to increasing application of the biotechnology techniques in the Indian agricultural arena. Various research institutes and departments of the government of India and other state governments are directing their efforts on exploring and exploiting newer technologies for enhancing farm production and increasing productivity. But here in Bangladesh the biotech issue is still not receiving due attention.

Bravo!

Salvation for the Deserving (SFD) congratulates Finance Adviser Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam for his speech delivered on June 24, 2008 at a function of Dutch Bangla Bank Ltd. The Finance Adviser stated , “ The government is considering tax exemption on a part of corporate income to be spent on discharging corporate social responsibilities (CSR).” We think that such kind of an initiative would definitely encourage the business organisations to engage them in social development activities. It should be mentioned that SFD has been advocating from its inception in different seminars, symposiums and writing that donation to the organisation should be kept tax free as no nation can survive keeping the 1.5 crore people uneducated, untrained and in improper hygienic condition. The present caretaker government signed the 'UN Convention on the rights of the people with disabilities'. Furthermore, the national office of the 'National Foundation for the development of the disabled persons' was shifted from the 3rd floor of a multi-storeyed building to a separate one-storied building. Such kind of initiatives shows the government's benevolence to the disabled and marginalised persons. We express our heartfelt gratitude to the government for such initiatives. We know that, due to limited resources, the government alone cannot achieve the goal of poverty alleviation and sustainable development. Able and affluent people should come forward to shoulder the social responsibilities. Considering the facts, the speech of the Finance Adviser to encourage corporate houses to carry out their social responsibilities is praiseworthy.

People and education

While strolling at Kurfürstendamm in Berlin where Syed Mujtaba Ali (Deshe Bideshe) walked many years ago, these thoughts again came to my mind:

International

US 'won't allow' Iran to shut key Gulf oil route

The commander of the US navy's Fifth Fleet warned on Monday that the United States will not allow Iran to shut the Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf sea lane through which much of the world's oil is supplied.

Israel blockades Gaza after truce violation

Israel again sealed off the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday in retaliation for the latest rocket attack to breach a truce in and around the impoverished Palestinian enclave.

Left parties to reconsider support for Indian govt

A grouping of left-wing parties who prop up India's government will meet this week to reconsider their support and forcing early polls, an official said yesterday.

Lankan jets bomb rebel air, sea bases

Sri Lanka's air force bombed a Tamil Tiger rebel air base and a rebel navy base, while separate ground clashes in the country's war-torn north left 20 combatants dead, the military said Tuesday.

Israel, Syria to hold third round of talks

Israeli and Syrian negotiators were set to meet separately with mediators in Turkey yesterday for a third round of indirect talks that could be complicated by MPs' efforts to block an eventual return of the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights.

European govts examine Zimbabwe sanctions

European governments are looking at a raft of sanctions to be imposed on Zimbabwe after President Robert Mugabe was elected unopposed in a vote denounced as a sham, the French foreign ministry said yesterday.

US, Nato deaths in Afghanistan pass Iraq toll

Militants killed more US and Nato troops in Afghanistan in June than in Iraq for the second straight month, a grim milestone capping a run of headline-grabbing insurgent attacks that analysts say underscore the Taliban's growing strength.

Sunni bloc will return to Iraq cabinet

Iraq's largest Sunni Arab parliamentary bloc is set to join the Shia-led cabinet of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki after boycotting it for nearly a year, the spokesman for the faction said yesterday.

Musharraf warns against Nato strike on Pak soil

President Pervez Musharraf told a five-member US Congressional delegation on Monday that Pakistan would not tolerate a recurrence of US-led Nato attack on Pakistani troops from Afghanistan.

UN will press Myanmar on democracy

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon pledged Tuesday to press Myanmar to bring "genuine freedom" to its people after he struck a deal to bring in international aid after a devastating cyclone.

French diplomat named new head of UN peacekeeping

French diplomat Alain Le Roy was Monday entrusted with the heavy task of leading UN peacekeeping operations at a time when the blue helmets are more needed than ever around the world.

Iran building collapse kills 17

The remains of 17 workers have been recovered from the rubble of a seven-storey building that collapsed in northwest Tehran, Fars news agency reported yesterday.

Ousted crown prince Paras leaves Nepal

Thirty-three days after his father Gyanendra was stripped of his once revered position as the king of Nepal - and he himself lost the right to succeed to the 239-year-old throne, Nepal's controversial former crown prince Paras on Tuesday left the country for Singapore, triggering speculation about his return.

Kashmir govt revokes decision to hand over land to Hindus

Indian Kashmir formally revoked yesterday a decision to hand over land to Hindu pilgrims after days of violent protests that left four dead and nearly 350 injured in the Muslim region.

Five stabbed to death at Shanghai police station

A Chinese man armed with a knife killed five policemen on Tuesday when he went on a stabbing frenzy at a Shanghai police station, authorities said.

Pak forces demolish new militant-linked buildings

Pakistani forces demolished two buildings used by militants in the Khyber tribal district on Tuesday on the fourth day of an operation against rebels there, officials said.

Secret US plan for Pakistan on hold

Sharp policy disagreements and turf battles between American counter-terrorism agencies have held up Bush administration's secret plan to operate inside Pakistan's tribal areas, the New York Times reported on Monday.

Arts & Entertainment

Banshi and Labu Mian's vision

In days gone by, young rakhals (cowherds) playing banshi (bamboo flute) under banyan trees was a common sight in rural Bengal. Today the scene has changed. One exception, however, is city dweller Labu Mian who 30 years ago embarked on his mission to acquaint urbanites with the instrument of the rakhals.

Celebrating the man who gave us “Safed Hathi" and “Kabuliwala”

To celebrate the 60th year of India's Independence, among other things, the Indian government will honour living movie legends -- Tapan Sinha, Dilip Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar and Saroja Devi -- by conferring them with lifetime achievement awards.

A dedicated Tagore singer

Singer Roquaiya Hasina Neely is well known for her purist approach to rendering Rabindra Sangeet. Her third music album, “Baaje Jhornar Gaan” was released in Dhaka in 2006 and was appreciated by Tagore enthusiasts. The songs are now available on several websites (Google: Roquaiya Hasina). Songs from her third album were played on radio stations in USA and Australia. Her fourth album is set to be released next month.

Online art: Coming of age

In this digital age, can art afford to not jump on the bandwagon? There may be a polarity of opinion on this score but, like it or not, art online is here to stay. Take Delhi, for instance. The city has several galleries, which exhibit their works on their websites and even sell their art works without a face to face between buyers and sellers.

TV play “Jogfol Shunyo”

A special play Jogfol Shunyo will be aired on ntv on July 3 at 9:00 pm. The cast includes filmstar Moushumi, Hassan Masud, Mosharraf Karim, Siddiqur Rahman, Toma and Ferdaus in a special appearance.

Afzal, Subarna in “Aronnyer Shukh Dukhho”

A special telefilm, Aronnyer Shukh Dukhho, will be aired on ntv on July 3. The cast of the film includes Afzal Hossain, Subarna Mustafa, Tauqir Ahmed, Tarin, Abul Hayat, Amirul Haque Chowdhury, Saleh Ahmed, Shams Sumon, Dilara Zaman, Sharmin Shila and Ahsanul Haque Minu.

Cultural programme marking tree fair in Khagrachhari

Speakers at a discussion and prize-giving ceremony held recently said that the government has decided to plant over 1.5 crore saplings in the reserve forest. Meanwhile some non-government organisations would distribute over 1 crore saplings in Chittagong Hill Tracts.

“Knight” cast thinks so

Heath Ledger's co-stars from "The Dark Knight," including two-time Batman Christian Bale, took turns at a press event this weekend praising and remembering the late actor's intense style. A few of them are even lobbying for a gold statue on his behalf.

OP-ED

Saarc must act as one on climate change

CLIMATE is not something that we can fix whenever we want, because most climate models predict gradual changes related to the steadily increasing greenhouse gas concentrations and carbon emissions. But ice and sediment core records reveal that, in the past, climate has changed abruptly -- possibly in as little as 10 to 20 years. Such rapid change in the future could make prevention and adaptation strategies difficult and expensive to implement.

True democracy

THE Election Commission has announced the schedule for holding four-city corporation and nine municipal elections, triggering criticism from the big political parties. Intra-party disputes and rivalry between prospective candidates within alliances have become intense since the declaration.

The war premium on oil

THERE are two questions being asked around the global water cooler these days, and no one seems to have a very good answer for them. First, why does the price of oil keep rising, even if the world economy is slowing down and the Saudis appear to be willing to raise production?

This financial prediction is guaranteed to be on target

LIKE many people, I have watched the world's stock markets bounce up and down over the past few months. But unlike the rest of you I KNOW WHY.

Star City

DU plans a second campus

The committee on Dhaka University's (DU) Master Plan and Landscaping sits tomorrow to discuss the conceptual plan for setting up the university's second campus in the city's outskirt.

Bright book, distorted facts

A children's pictorial book on bird species widely available in bookstores and major city intersections confuses a hoopoe with a woodpecker, a pelican with shag and a martin with mynah.

Trust is the only thing that matters

Golam Mostafa, a CNG autorickshaw driver, living in Jatrabari area urgently needed some money for his wife's Caesarean last month.


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